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Girls Playing Tackle Football
October 10, 2011 - Michael Palmer
Since 1939 when Luverne "Toad" Wise kicked six extra points for the Escambia County (Alabama) High School football team, there have been many “girls” who have tried to compete on the male dominated gridiron.
In 1972 when Title IX passed, it guaranteed equality for but not all access to female athletes.
At Conotton Valley high school, a girl went through an entire preseason workout, surviving two-a-days and then after making the last practice on Friday night before the home opener she mysteriously did not show up for Saturday’s game.
She was to start on the line for the Rockets, not an easy task for a female athlete, I never did ask her why but I could guess as to her answer.
Football is a boys club and the “No Girls Allowed” sign is out and enforced at most high schools.
Friday night, St. Clairsville junior place kicker Haylee Skukan successfully kicked a 24-yard field goal for the Red Devils football team.
The celebration on the sidelines was very heart warming as the celebration by all of the coaches and her teammates revealed that this little blonde had earned the respect of her piers.
I am sure it is not as hostile an environment as in the film G I Jane for this football female, but I would not doubt that some girls who have tried to make the grade and play high school football have received a similar reception to Demi Moore’s character.
I know the Boy Scouts are for boys and they already have the Girl Scouts, but I vote on the side of the female athlete in this situation.
I was clearly cheering for her to make the kick, but as an impartial observer I just tried to make sure the photos were in focus so Haylee would have some snap shots in addition to the ONN network and local TV video coverage.
I think that she would get more opportunities if it were not for the fake field goal or fake PAT in the ST. C playbook. I am sure Haylee would sprint around the end of the line and dive for the corner pylon with comparable speed, and perhaps even more adrenaline that your usual male place kicker. Could she throw a block for her holder on the same play, I think she would do admirably if she were to be asked.
Congratulations to Haylee. Not just for the field goal, but for having the fortitude to get to the point where you were able to make the kick. You Go GIRL!
For additional information check the article on the game in the Sports section and for more photos go to the CU photo gallery from St. C vs. Edison.
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